The EU REDD Facility and Yayasan Penelitian Inovasi Bumi (INOBU) have been working together since 2013 to explore opportunities in Indonesia's West Papua Province to clarify tenure and land-use rights in order to improve land use governance.
The objective of this work is to support a range of actions to improve land use governance in West Papua. Actions include generating a better understanding of the timber industry and associated supply chains, identifying pathways to resolve disparities between customary and statutory tenure laws and ensuring that there are policy instruments, regulations and monitoring systems in place at the jurisdictional level to ensure good land use governance.
West Papua is one of Indonesia's poorest yet most densely forested provinces. Good land use governance in West Papua has the potential to improve the welfare of millions of rural Indonesians, whilst also setting the economy, both at a provincial and national scale, on a path to higher productivity and prosperity.
The rate of deforestation in West Papua is historically low compared to that of other provinces such as Sumatra and Kalimantan. Threats from logging, mining and oil palm development, however, are emerging and pressure on West Papua’s forest is expected to intensify in the near future. West Papua has large areas of high quality forest and is highly vulnerable, unless authorities change their approach to land use governance in the province.
The governance framework of West Papua differs from most other Indonesian provinces in that it operates under the 2001 Special Autonomy Law, which shifts the balance of authority from the district to the province. However, many of the provisions of Special Autonomy have not yet been implemented and earlier laws still apply. This has created institutional tensions because there are overlapping responsibilities at the local, provincial and national administrative levels that currently regulate Papua’s forestry and natural resources.
Disputes over land and natural resource rights are a key aspect of the tensions in West Papua. This work has the potential to help reduce these tensions, being mindful of this sensitive issue and the multiple actors involved. It is important that the project supports the provincial government in regular and more systematic engagement with civil society and to establish credible and transparent monitoring mechanisms.
The project takes a phased approach to explore the opportunities for improved land use governance. The stages are:
- A provincial-level spatial, economic and social analysis of the timber industry in West Papua
- The identification of opportunities for the inclusion and involvement of indigenous communities in forest management and land-use planning
- The development of a system for monitoring sustainability at the jurisdictional level, where the most important land use decisions are taken
Members of a community forest in West Papua, Indonesia
Source: EU REDD Facility
To date the project has:
- The 2014 Timber Industry Study highlighted the unsustainable participation of local communities in the timber industry and their potential to contribute to illegalities within the supply chain. It was also found that while deforestation rates are low, forest degradation may be higher than previously thought.
- The 2015 Livelihoods Study investigated how pressure on forests could be reduced through alternative, more sustainable land use allocation processes. In addition, potential implementation pathways of the Constitutional Court Decision 35/2012 in West Papua and their implications were explored.
The project is currently:
- The 2014 Timber Industry Study and the 2015 Livelihoods Study have provided an improved understanding of key land use governance issues and opportunities in West Papua.
- This work has fostered closer ties between the provincial government, several district governments, indigenous representatives and civil society. These stakeholders have jointly identified the need to improve land use governance at the jurisdictional level. As a result, the Facility and INOBU are developing design principles for a system to monitor the sustainability of land use at the provincial and district levels.
We will add reports, tools and policy briefs developed by the project to this list as they become available:
- Briefing: Developing a jurisdictional monitoring system aimed at improving sustainable rural development in West Papua
- The work of Earth Innovation Institute in West Papua
- Deforestation may be ramping up in Papua, West Papua - Article by Ethan Harfenist, mongabay.com
- Video on the customary forests after the Constitutional Court’s Ruling No. 35
adeline.dontenville @ efi.int
Phone: +34 674 022 115